The Drunken Invaders

In Africa, From Johannesburg to Bilibiza, Journeys, Mozambique, Mozambique 2015 by hudieLeave a Comment

After an hour of the incident with the army private, the bus has stopped. It is around 10:40 pm. The place where we parked is a street with houses on  both sides.  it is in a narrow two-way street. We are in front of a small bar with loud music. There are many drunk men outside the bar. They dance in a style resembling damaged robots. They smoke, speak out loud and hug some women that wandering there. The bus driver tells us that he will return at 3:30 am, then he and his assistant get off, leaving the bus with the lights off, but with the door open. Many passengers leave the bus and rent a room to sleep somewhere near. Others get off the bus and lie down on the floor in front of the bar. We along with others, stay inside looking through the window. I feel a little nervous.
Some drunk  curious men, suddenly get into our bus to inspect us passengers. They speak aloud. One begins to ask questions to Hanaffan about where he comes from and who he is. Hanaffan shows little interest in responding to him or even to look at him The drunk man gets aggressive. Insists that his interrogation must be answered, yells at Hanaffan and my mind works fast thinking what to do. Suddenly, a passenger rises from his seat facing him. He tells him that he is an abuser by disturbing the passengers as well and encourages other passengers not to allow such aggression. No one says anything, not even Hanaffan nor I.
The drunk me get off the bus for a while. After 15 minutes, they are back inside, sitting in the empty seats, smoking and talking about women and vices.
None of the passengers complains. Everybody pretends that the invaders are not there.
A general impression of the Mozambicans, is his passivity. On several occasions I have witnessed the tension of a discussion here. In any other country would be easy to assume that the contenders are about to hit each other. But here don’t. Many Mozambicans speaks slowly, raise the tone of voice, but do not hit. Sometimes I imagine that after so many years of living in the middle of the civil war with their deaths and disputes, people no longer want to continue with this, and so they show it in their actions. No longer they find sense in the physical aggression.
We spend the night like this. Watching they drunk men entering and getting off our bus. We stay attentive of not being stolen. We also witness a dispute between two drunk men who insult each other because of a woman whom both called “Bitch”. They break bottles and yell but never hit each other.
The woman in question is there. Also drunk, walking in zig zag with a bottle of beer in hand. She attempts to separate them, but she falls to the ground. It is a sad spectacle, but nothing more than shouting and insults. The police has come to ask what happens. Meanwhile, most of the drunk men go home and the bar turns off the music and closes its doors. The bustle is off for an hour.
At 3:30 am the passengers  who slept outside beggin to return. Some arrive freshly bathed to continue the journey. The driver and his assistant come at 4:30 am. Some passengers complain about the delay, but then we undertake our journey looking to the right side of the road as the Sun rises. A unique and unforgettable Sunrise which makes us relax and fall exhausted asleep.

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